Tapping Maple Trees at Home
Back in December we told you all about our fun Maple Tree Sugaring Nature Study. We’ve been continuing the study throughout the winter, which is short here in Georgia. Our original plan was to travel to visit family in Northeast Tennessee for the tapping portion, which Mr. David Simerly has been doing there for several years. Due to family illness, we weren’t able to go so we made the best of it and tried it out in Georgia. We even made maple sugar candy, which you can get the recipe for below!
Disclosure: We received Tap My Trees Teacher Kit for free and were compensated for our time. We were not required to post a positive review. All opinions are honest and my own.
We identified and marked our maple trees back in the fall. The boys enjoyed being outside and looking for a specific leaf and color. They remembered where our marked trees were. Here’s Mr. J drilling the hole for our tap. The large drill bit comes with your Tap My Trees Teacher kit, also available on Amazon here! Very handy. We tapped in the spile, attached the bucket, and waited.
And waited. It was cold that morning! But alas, no sap was to be had. We still had fun and came inside to read some more of our Maple Sugaring study books from the last post. We like Sugar Snow the best! It actually gave me the idea for our fun activity.
Now if you get sap from your trees, your Tap My Trees kit comes with a wonderful candy thermometer that you use to boil down the sap to syrup. Keep it handy because you’ll need it to boil down the syrup to make Maple Candy.
Making Maple Sugar Candy
What you’ll need to make maple candy:
4 drops of veggie or olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of butter
Non-stick spray if you use metal molds or detailed silicone molds
Begin by using the butter to coat around the rim of your pot about an inch down. This tiny little step keeps the syrup from boiling over while it gets up to temperature.
Let the syrup boil till your candy thermometer reads at the top of the softball range. Remove it from the heat without jostling it too much. Let it cool for 10-15 minutes down to around 200 degrees. Get your wooden spoon and prepare for a great arm workout.
Using your wooden spoon, stir and stir and stir for 5-7 minutes until the syrup loses it’s gloss and changes to a caramel color. You will need to work quickly at this stage because it will harden fast and not go into your molds the way you want if you take too long.
Once your molds are filled, scrape the remainder of the maple sugar into an airtight container and use it for coffee, oatmeal, or sprinkled over yogurt. Let your molds harden for 15 minutes, then pop out your candy.
If you’ve never experienced the creamy sweetness of real Maple Sugar Candy, you’re in for a treat! These little delights make all the work of tree tapping, collecting and boiling down the sap, then boiling down the syrup completely worth it! Tap My Trees was such a fun experience. I hope you enjoy your sugaring!